Each species evolved neural mechanisms that enable individuals to effectively navigate their respective social and ecological landscapes. These landscapes are inherently noisy, comprising features and events that vary along multiple dimensions. Rather than incapacitate neural processes, our brain is equipped with mechanisms to efficiently parse, encode and process meaningful information and use it for subsequent decisions. Our research philosophy is that significant insights into the neural mechanisms underlying our ability to navigate the complexities of the natural world come from experiments performed in these exact contexts. A core mission of our lab is to examine neocortical processes in the context of the noisy, cluttered acoustic and social landscapes. While we emphasize studies of natural behavior, we also complement this work with experiments employing conditioned behavioral paradigms to examine specific facets of the neural processes. Research in our lab ranges from studies of natural communication in wild populations to experiments on neural circuitry as part of a broader vision to elucidate the neurobiology of behavior in nonhuman primate neocortex.
Research in our lab is funded by the NIH National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.